Our walk today is a circular route round Windsor and Eton. We begin our journey outside the Castle in Windsor. Windsor Castle is the main residence of Her Majesty The Queen, but as the Royal Standard was not flying, she is not in residence at the castle today. The guards outside the castle are armed, something we don’t see much of in Scotland.
We are invited to get our pictures taken and pasted onto pictures of the Queen and Royal Family, but decline the invitation. Despite it being late March and not the holiday season, Windsor is busy. The shops are selling many items relating to the wedding of Prince William including mugs, plates and tea towels and is a bit of a novelty to us, as the shops back home do not have many of these items for sale.
We have a look at the Castle before making our way down Thames Street, towards the river. We are offered a sample of fudge from a shop-keeper halfway down the street, but decline as we are not sweetie eaters.
We then turn left along River Street to the riverbank. It is fairly busy here with passengers embarking on a ferry trip up the Thames and the swans mingling with walkers on the path adjacent to the river.
We walk along the riverbank towards Windsor Bridge and cross it to arrive in Eton. Eton is on the opposite side of the bridge from Windsor. We then turn left down Brocas Street and follow a footpath along the rive bank. On our left is the River Thames and on the right is a large common.
The river is busy with many small boats travelling up and down and although there are not as many as in the summer months, there are still a large number.
The common has a few walkers and cyclists on it which is not surprising given the good weather. We walk along the riverbank, taking in the scenery. One thing we do note are the large number of planes flying low on their way to Heathrow Airport and it does spoil the walk a bit. As we walk along the path we see the railway bridge in the distance which takes the trains from Slough to Windsor Central Railway Station.
A train travels over the bridge as we approach and after walking under it we take the path on our right. We are now walking on a path parallel to the railway with playing fields on our right. The playing fields are empty just now but look as though they have been used recently as the pitches still have white lining on them.
The weather is getting warmer, so we stop to take our jackets off. We pass some allotments on our right and wave to the people working in them digging and planting vegetables for the summer. We are now approaching Eton Wick Road and will turn left and continue on the footpath to the village. As we walk along we are passed by a number of cyclists enjoying the weather.
Eton Wick is one mile along the road and we soon arrive in the village.
Despite being a small village, Eton wick has a good variety of shops, a football club and a library. We stop at a shop to get some cool water before turning right down Haywards Mead Road, past the football ground, to the footpath which will take us back to Eton.
The footpath we are now on is surrounded by fields and allows us to continue on our walk through pleasant surroundings. We are walking towards the river again and as we approach it we see some boys throwing stones at the ducks.They stop when the see us approaching. Unlike the yobs in the West of Scotland with their pit bull terriers, these boys had two cairn terriers with them, so did not look so menacing as their Scottish counterparts.
We are now at the riverbank again, with the river on our right.The large number of trees provide some shelter from the warn sun. We also hear the singing of blackbirds, blue tits and robins as we walk along, as the singing of the birds is something we have not been aware of before in our walk.
On the opposite side of the river we see some tractors cutting the grass on the Royal Windsor racecourse, getting it ready for the new racing season. We are now approaching the turn-off we took on the first part of the walk just after the railway bridge. We continue on our footpath towards Eton and the Castle comes into view. This must be one of the best views of Windsor Castle. A passenger ferry boat passes us on the river on the way to a weir, where it turns round and returns to Windsor.
We are now arriving back at Eton so we walk down the High Street and along to Eton School. The shops in Eton High street are mostly specialist shops such as antique, gift and school uniform shops.
As we walk along the main street in Eton we see a number of senior Eton schoolboys wearing the distinctive tailcoat uniforms.
We soon come to Eton Chapel which was never completed due to the War of the Roses and was intended to be double the size it is at present. The area around the Chapel is surrounded by buildings owned by the school. As we admire the architecture of the buildings, some schoolboys pass in rugby gear and make their way into one of the buildings.
We look at more of the buildings before returning to Windsor, down Eton High Street. As we arrive back in Windsor we remark on how enjoyable the walk has been and on how flat the terrain was, compared with that in Scotland.